How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Kailua Hawaii
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Kailua HI, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Most prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Kailua HI clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Hawaii law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Kailua HI health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Kailua HI area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some potential Kailua HI medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Kailua HI with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Kailua HI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Kailua HI area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Kailua health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Landing that very first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Kailua HI area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s imperative that the college you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kailua HI, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Kailua Hawaii?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Kailua HI area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Kailua, Honolulu County, Hawaii
Kailua /kaɪˈluːə/ is a census-designated place (CDP) in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States. It lies in the Koʻolaupoko District of the island of Oʻahu on the windward coast at Kailua Bay. It is in the judicial district and the ahupua'a named Ko'olaupoko. It is 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Honolulu – over Nu‘uanu Pali. The population was 38,635 at the 2010 census.
In the Hawaiian language Kailua means "two seas" or "two currents", a contraction of the words kai (meaning "sea" or "sea water") and ʻelua (meaning "two"); it is so named because of the two lagoons in the district or the two currents which run through Kailua Bay.
Places of note in Kailua include Kailua Beach Park, Lanikai Beach, Kawai Nui Marsh, Maunawili Falls, and Marine Corps Base Hawaii. It was home to Barack Obama’s winter White House and also of the famous South African businessman Ridwan Karrim.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Kailua HI
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Accreditation. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Kailua HI.
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